Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Food Supplement Use Differs from the Recommendations in Pregnant Women: A Multinational Survey

List of Authors: Koivuniemi E, Hart K, Mazanowska N, Ruggeri S, Egan B, Censi L, Roccaldo R, Mattila L, Buonocore P, Löyttyniemi E, Raats MM, Wielgos M, Laitinen K

Publisher: MDPI

Publication year: 2022

Journal: Nutrients

Journal name in source: NUTRIENTS

Journal acronym: NUTRIENTS

Volume number: 14

Issue number: 14

Number of pages: 20


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The aim was to investigate, among pregnant women, (1) the use of food supplements and (2) the awareness of food supplement recommendations and beliefs about food supplement use in four European countries: Finland, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom. The participants (n = 1804) completed an online questionnaire with predefined statements. Daily intakes of vitamins and minerals were calculated using uploaded pictures or weblinks of the supplement packages. Country differences were assessed. Most participants (91%) used at least one food supplement during pregnancy. A prenatal multivitamin was the most commonly used supplement type (84% of the users), and 75% of the participants thought consumption of multivitamin is recommended. Of the participants, 81% knew that folic acid is recommended during pregnancy while 58% knew the recommendation for vitamin D. In 19% of the supplement users, the daily safe upper intake limit of at least one nutrient was exceeded. Nevertheless, most participants agreed that they knew which supplements (91%) and doses of supplements (87%) needed to be used during pregnancy. To conclude, the majority of the participants used food supplements, but lower proportions knew and adhered to the recommended intakes. Between-country differences were observed in the use and knowledge of and beliefs regarding supplements. The results suggest a need for assessment and monitoring of supplement use in antenatal care to ensure appropriate use.

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Last updated on 2022-11-08 at 11:04